In the 2000s EA were known for their sporting games like Fifa, Madden and NBA Live, which were fun ways for people who enjoyed sports to experience them virtually, often with friends or at gatherings.

In recent years, however, this enjoyable franchise known for its, sports games has been corrupted by the modern phenomena known as microtransactions. The changes that have occurred have changed how most gamers, both casual and professional, view the company. They have a distorted view seeing it as evil, unethical, and malevolent.

Microtransactions have become a big part of the gaming industry in recent times. With almost all games having some form of microtransactions, they have plagued modern gaming development. Simply put, they are in-game payments that can be made to improve the gaming experience, these can come in the forms of visual cosmetics, in-game abilities or weapons and loot boxes. 

These loot boxes are one of the most controversial forms of microtransactions. What are loot boxes? They are essentially a lucky dip where you purchase a pack of randomised items to be used in the gaming experience. For example, in a shooting game, you can purchase a pack that comes with 5 randomised items which could be weapons, outfits, attachments or cosmetics. Throughout the game, there are millions of these kinds of items and each time you purchase a loot box you take a chance at getting 5/1,000,000. 

Essentially, loot boxes are just a rebranding of gambling. They entice people, often children, to purchase these loot boxes in hopes of improving their chance of winning or gaming experience. The fact that these are available for children is appalling and should be declared illegal. 

The reason I have targeted EA is due to their use of loot boxes throughout almost all of their recent games. They have incorporated these to be integral parts of the games and manipulate people to purchase them in order to improve their chances of winning. For example in Fifa’s Ultimate team mode, you purchase player cards that have varying rarities and ratings, ranging from Bronze and silver to Gold and Special. The better the rarity and rating, the higher your chances of winning by using that player. For years EA has used Ultimate Team to obtain the majority of their revenue, earning 1.5 billion in 2020, these outrageous numbers prove how powerful and dangerous loot boxes can be. 

EA continues this unethical practice, focusing more and more as their yearly games release on the use of microtransactions. One of the worst part is that they fail to improve or fix their games each year. Bugs and glitches remain in the 2021 version of the game that originated in 2017. These unethical practices will be sustained as long as the company is making a profit, some countries have already banned the use of loot boxes in games crippling EA’s influence on gamers wallets. If other countries or people could make a conscious decision to stop supporting this type of practice, companies like EA would be forced to change.


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